Writing Tips: Flash Writing, Bouncing & What Ifs

As a writer, sometimes the ideas are there, but I need something to get the story out and onto the page. These are my favorite tools to get writing a great story. Try them out, they work!

What if: Taking the what if line is the single most useful line to spur on a great story. What if a truck came barreling through my house? Take it a step further. What if the driver was a man bitten by a zombie? What if he got out bleeding profusely seeking help as he began to change into a cannibalistic nightmare, with an insatiable appetite for me. What if I had to hide? Where would I go? Would I go outside? What I try his truck to see if it still worked? What if I had to barricade myself away from him. So many questions. These are precisely the questions to ask yourself when writing. You are well on your way to a serious intro to a story.

Flash: This is my favorite method. Writing a story in a series of flashes. I start with a blank yellow writing pad. What is the idea of the story? Figure out what you want to write first of all, get your genre and basic idea down. Next write flash. What do you see? Imagine something with a definite connection to your story. Something you would like to see as the audience of a film, it doesn't matter if you are a writer of short stories or novels, imagine a scene in which the reader would be captivated... Without straying off topic. I write visually. I use visualization like a movie trailer, what do I see, or want to see, and what do I want to hear. What are some memorable tag lines. What would make some scary dialogue to catch the attention of the viewer or reader? Keep pushing from there into a series of flashes, it doesn't matter if it's out of order. When you have a page or few pages of flash writing done, connect them all in series, what will lead to the next. You will find a great new story is in the works.

Bouncing: Sometimes you have an idea but it needs work. Basically this is brainstorming. Get a friend you connect with, someone who you have always had tons of escalating laughs with cause you both bounce the hilarity off each other, building on the laughs with one line after another until you're crying. Get out a recorder and have it ready for your bounce session. Bouncing the story off each other creates a 'one better' than the last scenario, as you feed off each other's creativity and build off each other's ideas. You will quickly find you and your 'bouncer' have created a far superior story than what you initially had. But be sure you have recorded everything, so you can go back over each thing that made that spark in you, and begin writing from your session.

You have something good, make it better! Happy writing!

Dee McCullay - Film Maker
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